When I was a child in Mississippi, we had a book about birds of North America. For some reason, I know not what, I became fascinated by a certain bird that was pictured therein. It was the snowbird. Being a boy from the deep south, I had not seen much snow, which was a rarity where I come from.
Perhaps that rarity factor is the reason I was fascinated by the picture of the snowbirds in my little book.
Now I’m sixty-five, and living in the Blue Ridge mountains, which can be quite snowy this time of year.
Early this morning, December 30, we did discover the first snow of the season, and I have to tell ya– along with the whitey flakes the snowbirds made their visit known to us.
Later in life, When I had become young man, I became fascinated with a song called “Snowbird” that was a hit on the radio at that time, 1960’s. It was a tear-jerker tune, sung perfectly by a lady known as the Canadian songbird, Annie Murray.
“Snowbird” is a sad song about unrequited love.
“When I was young, my heart was young then too. Anything that it would tell me–that’s the thing that I would do.
But now I feel such emptiness within for the thing that I want most in life’s the thing that I can’t win. . .
“The breeze along the river seems to say, that she’ll only break my heart again, should I decide to stay.
So little snowbird take me with you when you go to that land of gentle breezes where the peaceful waters flow.”
. . . and yet, beneath the poem’s cold mantle of forlornness there is a trace of hope, a mention of “flowers that will come again in spring.
As it turned out, in my life the flowers did “come again in spring.” Those misadventures in love that later became a flood of heartache ultimately were buried in the fertile ground of life’s demands. Not only were seeds of new love sewn providentially into my life, but those seeds have yielded new flowers and more seeds.
Yet still, “the snowbird sings the song he always sang, and, as it turns out, eats the seeds always needs.
The snowbirds visited our house this morning, and wow! did they have a feast!
Those little critters are much like the two humans–my wife and I–who find much joy in providing seed for them during this snowy season. There’s Snowy on the ledge, and his wifey down in the tree:
Thanks to love and marriage, which go together, you know, like a horse and carriage, or like . . . snowbirds and snow, my life has turned out to be a love feast instead of the festival of the broken-hearted that might have been, had not a wonderful loving woman come in and changed all that lovesick blues to pure white marital love, 37 years of it.
I wouldn’t trade marital love for anything in the world. It’s so much better than the broken heart that might have become bitterness. Thank God for true love that is lasting and faithful.
Here’s another version of the song, “Snowbird,” as recorded by the songwriter, Hank Snow.
And here’s a parting pic of little Snowy with his Finchy friend.